What is LP SmartSide Panel?

Louisiana Pacific (LP) siding has been around since the 1980s, though it was not until the late-90s that SmartSide emerged on the market and became a contender for builders.
LP SmartSide was originally developed to resemble T1-11 in many ways but with an extra coating layer to protect the wood against the elements.
While I have run into people that believe SmartSide is not wood, that is incorrect. SmartSide is still wood though it has also been engineered to withstand added pressure from the elements.
The Smart Guard technology of the siding utilizes wood flakes to form the cladding. The flakes are first coated with zinc borate and different waxes in order to withstand water better.

What materials are used in LP SmartSide?

The siding is manufactured with wood strands or wood fiber that has been soaked in a zinc borate compound to help protect it from insects and fungal decay. Resins are added to create strong bonds. Then, a barrier is added to resist flaking and peeling.

LP Smart Siding Advantages and Disadvantages

For those that prefer the all-natural, 100 percent wood look LP SmartSide has a downside because it’s more prepared for paint than stain. The material is usually manufactured pre-primed, which takes the grain color out of the presentation.
LP SmartSide costs about the same as T1-11. Some builders remain fastened to the belief that there is not a cheaper version of wood siding than T1-11, but SmartSide is the same price depending on the wholesaler.
It could be argued that it’s actually cheaper in the long run because it requires little maintenance meaning no need to purchase new stain or paint every few years, which I definitely prefer.



  • Extremely resistant to water damage
  • Maintenance free after the initial construction
  • Very durable and not easily subjected to rot or decay
  • Looks better painted than rough T1-11 which is not a good painted surface
  • Does not look as good stained because the product is shipped with a primed base, hiding the natural grain.

What type of wood siding resists insects the best?

Both T1-11 and LP SmartSide are considered very good for keeping away insects like termites. It is especially true if the paneling is properly installed and preventive maintenance like caulking is utilized.


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